A $5 salad might not seem like a steal, but unlike it’s wimpier counterparts, this bowl full of wild rocket arugula, Cypress Grove goat cheese, sliced almonds and fresh peaches will actually fill you up. (There’s nothing worse than saving a buck and being hungry afterwards.)
If you’re not able to make it to Bair Island Tap & Eatery in San Carlos, you could easily make your own hearty version at home. In general, I’ve discovered goat cheese really coats dishes (and your stomach) well. And you can’t go wrong with nuts, dark leafy greens and tree fruit in any combination.
Butternut squash + risotto + beginner’s luck = success! I’ve never attempted risotto, but I came across tempting recipes on Epicurious while exploring dinner options for Capay‘s recent surplus of butternut squash. Since I didn’t have enough leeks for Risotto with Butternut Squash and Leeks, and I went with Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto, which was healthy to boot! At just over 300 calories per main dish serving, it was the perfect dinner to kick off lighter eating in 2010 and offered a surprisingly buttery flavor.
A couple of notes on how I modified the recipe, which originally appeared in now defunct Gourmet Magazine in November 2001:
- I didn’t include garlic, because I didn’t have any – but would recommend it if you do
- Rather than saving 6 slices of butternut squash for serving, I mixed all but 2 slices in the risotto. As a result, the squash was definitely the dominant ingredient; so next time I would hold back 4 slices from the mixture (and use for something else later). That way the rice will be more balanced.
- I used less arugula than the recipe called for, and another Epicurious reviewer didn’t use any at all (I also agreed with her decision not to serve slices off butternut squash on the side, which explains why the squash was so dominant – above).
- I had only 4 tablespoons of parmesan, even though the recipe calls for 5. I’d go with 5 and sprinkle a little extra on top when serving.
The recipe serves 6 main dish servings – and it earned unanimous thumbs up in my house!
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